Writer’s block and a looming Christmas novel deadline have romance novelist, Sarah Jones, heading for the other side of the world on a whim.
Niklas Toivonen offers cosy Lapland accommodation, but when his aging father falls ill, Niklas is called upon to step into his father’s work clothes to make children happy. Red is quite his color.
Fresh off the airplane, a visit to Santa sets Sarah’s muse into overdrive. The man in red is not only entertaining, he’s young—with gorgeous blue eyes. Much like her new landlord’s, she discovers. Santa and Niklas quickly become objects of research—for her novel, and her curiosity.
Though she’s written countless happily-ever-afters, Sarah doubts she’ll ever enjoy her own. Niklas must find a way to show her how to leave the pain of her past behind, so she can find love and faith once more.
I love Christmas romance stories and Poles Apart didn’t disappoint. Sarah is impulsive, and she books a three week trip to Lapland, Santa’s home town, over Christmas. She’s desperate to overcome writers block and meet her looming deadline. Sarah believes Lapland will provide the inspiration for her Christmas romance novel. A white Christmas is a very different proposition to the summer Christmas weather she’s accustomed to back home in South Africa.
Niklas, the owner of the cabin she rents in Lapland, is surprised and entranced by Sarah when they first meet in rather unusual circumstances. Sarah isn’t familiar with Finnish customs, especially the avanto, which creates humorous moments in the story. We meet reindeer, and Niklas’ golden retriever dogs are adorable.
I loved the way the romance between Sarah and Niklas evolves, and how the faith element intertwines with the mythology and legend of Santa. The story has a lovely underlying Christian message that keeps the focus of Christmas on Jesus. I recommend Poles Apart to readers who enjoy fun and light hearted Christmas romance novellas set in exotic locations.
Poles Apart is currently available for 99 cents in the Snowflakes and Mistletoe: A Collection of Christian Christmas Romances box set.
6 – 10 December
(Wombat Books, 1 December 2015)
About the Book
The traditional Christmas story has been told and re-told for nearly two thousand years – but never quite like this. Poet Cameron Semmens’s quirky and alliterated re-telling of it in Star! Stable! Savior! brings a totally fresh perspective on the ancient Christmas story.
Originally published in 2007 under the title The Story of The Star, The Stable and The Saviour, the book sold out after only a few years. Now it’s back with a fresh, punchy new title.
About the Author
Cameron Semmens is a poet, entertainer and poetry educator with 15 books to his name. He makes his living through words: performing, running workshops and book design. He lives in the Dandenong Rangers with his wife and two children.
My daughter and I enjoyed reading this cute version of the nativity story. The alliteration and cadence in the story was fun to read. Who knew that so many elements in the original Christmas story could start with the letter S?
The smart, snazzy scientists were joined by several shabby shepherds as they followed the star to see their saviour in the smelly stable. The saviour seekers wore snappy sneakers, and the illustrations matched the quirky tone in the story.
I highly recommend this book to children who are looking for a unique spin on the Christmas story.
I received a review copy of the book as part of the ACRBA Tour.
Source: ACFW New Releases: December 2015
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
nutcrACKer stroll by RC Atchisson — As the annual Nantucket Noel kicks into high gear, Joe Thornton needs a miracle to save the White Goose Vineyard from competitors and more than a little Divine help to protect new friends, support old friends, and — most importantly — help him answer the question everyone is asking…What’s next? (Contemporary Romance from Stingy Brim)
Christmas Mittens by Laura V. Hilton — Gracia Dykstra enjoys her job at the Senior Center, especially at Christmas time when the seniors have an annual craft shop. Desperate to raise funds Gracia asks for donations of Christmas trees to sell, but donations are scarce. Jake Trivett quit his job in California and comes home to help save his dad’s struggling tree farm. Gracia’s heart flutters with more than Christmas spirit when Jake, an old flame, answers her phone call regarding tree donations. Will Gracia receive more than Christmas trees this year? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe — Nurse Anne Matson’s structured life derails when her ex-husband’s daughter falls ill, and Anne volunteers to help with her care. Matt recognizes he’s never stopped loving the spirited beauty, but any plans to regain her love stop get complicated when her Victorian home gets in the way of his town expansion project. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman — In Rooted in Love, Saul Petersheim has pursued Rosemary Lantz for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down because of a secret she’s vowed he’ll never know. In A Love for Irma Rose, young Irma Rose makes a choice between the man who is “right” for her and the wild and reckless Jonas, but when she loses her footing, she is forced to rethink her decision. In Patchwork Perfect, , unconventional Miriam Fisher is not the type Eli Byler is looking for, but she’s everything the widower wants. Only Miriam has no plans to marry-ever. In When Christmas Comes Again, when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of Katherine’s late husband, she begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])
Chapel Springs Survival by Ane Mulligan — Claire and her friends try to regroup as Chapel Springs is overrun with tourists. But everything takes a backseat when she finds out her nineteen year old son has taken a foreign mail order bride. (Women’s Fiction from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
The Rancher Takes a Cowgirl by Misty M. Beller — Hunted because of her recent inheritance, Grace Harper goes into hiding, working at a Texas ranch like the one she and her late father ran. Danger soon finds her anyway, but not before she falls for ranch foreman Monty Dominguez. Grace must find the courage for the ultimate sacrifice to protect those she’s come to love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden — A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. This takes her to Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff, despite lacking permission from the absent owners. Ready to tear down the mansion, Quentin Vandermark is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land. Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. But when past secrets resurrect, will tragedy triumph or hope prevail? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)
Mail-Order Marriage by Mary Davis, Denise Hunter, Judith Mccoy Miller, DiAnn Mills, and Tracie Peterson — Escape into the history of the American West along with five of today’s leading inspirational fiction authors who deliver exciting historical romances begun from advertisements for mail-order marriages. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will Cinda, Emily, Maura, Gabe, and Daughtry each be disappointed, or will some find true love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide — A young WWII widow hired to write an exclusive memoir lands on McCarthy’s Communist hit list and must clear her name while trying not to fall in love with the born-again, ex-Hollywood heartthrob she’s writing about, one whose scandalous past keeps him too busy to notice her. Or does it? (Historical Romance from Ashberry Lane)
Silent Night Pursuit by Katy Lee — On Christmas Eve, Lacey Phillips tracks down Captain Wade Spencer, looking for answers about her brother’s death. Searching his guilt-ridden past for his own answers to the tragedy, Wade tries to turn her away—until bullets start to fly. With killers lurking everywhere, he has to protect her—especially when she breaches the walls around his heart. Can Wade and his faithful service dog keep Lacey alive long enough to figure out who’s targeting them? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Yuletide Fugitive Threat by Sandra Robbins — The man who killed Mia Fletcher’s husband is stalking her—he’s dangerously intent on searching for something in her possession. But Mia doesn’t know what he wants or how to stop him, so she turns to Lucas Knight, fugitive hunter extraordinaire—and her former college boyfriend. When Lucas is pulled from sleep by a pounding on his door, Mia is the last person he expects to see. But after he hears about the killer who jumped bail, he has to help her…even if it means risking falling for her all over again. Can the bounty hunter capture the fugitive—and Mia’s heart—in time for Christmas? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])